I survived my first whole week at work! It’s pretty early in the morning so my brain isn’t functioning fully yet, but I shall try and recap on the things I did last week. I’ve got a lot better at the names and faces, and am fairly sure I could name around 90% of the ASG staff, that percentage would be lower for customer services though. I successfully completed a few mundane tasks in good time and without getting too bored, so this will prove to be a positive thing for the year ahead!
One of the major components of last week was one-on-one meetings with people about a number of different subjects. Polly showed me how to use Meeting Maker, and it’s taken an entire week to get that sorted but I finally have access to the programme and it looks to be a gem. A bit old-school and clunky to use, but it gets the job done. I also sat in on one of Polly’s student sessions on Endnote Web, which was really interesting to learn about as I hadn’t come across this whilst being a student myself, and I could really see the benefits.
I also met with Anne, who talked to me about plagiarism and the process that students have to go through if they are caught plagiarising on their courses – they are made to attend a session where they also have to pass a test in order to successfully complete the course. She showed me some figures of students caught plagiarising, and it wasn’t as high as I had expected given the number of students at the university.
Maria talked to me about disability and access in the library, which I thought was super interesting as I already have a vested interest in accessibility. Her talk with me confirmed that I want to do my project later in the year on something based around this, as there is a lot more that the library could and should be doing for its disabled users (both physically disabled and those with invisible conditions), but it simply doesn’t have the staff or the means right now. I’ll go into this in a lot more depth later in the year when I’ve found my bearings a bit more.
Other departments I have been introduced to over the last week include acquisitions and special collections, both of which I’ll be spending more time with over the coming week. Special collections in particular seems really interesting, and I’m looking forward to getting to work with the older and more delicate resources with Alison and Martin – who themselves seem like very interesting and enthusiastic people! I also survived my first ASG meeting, which was both terrifying but also interesting to sit in on. Hopefully sometime in the future I will feel confident enough to be able to contribute to discussions!
I spent every afternoon working in Customer Services, as I shall be doing up until at least Christmas. I really like this department as my colleagues are lovely and easy to talk to, and I’ve got more experience working face-to-face with customers. I’ve been shown a lot of different forms and procedures and computer programs – some of which make sense to me already and others will take some more getting used to. I’ve shadowed the welcome desk and the enquiry desk most days, and on Thursday evening I was left to answer a lot of enquiries by myself, which I didn’t find too painful and was able to enjoy. I’m looking forward to getting more independent in this area. One of the most frequent issues this week has been irate students angry that Floor 1 still hasn’t been opened, and there are now a lot of books that have been made inaccessible. I know that the staff have been doing everything that they can to keep the process running as smoothly as possible, but I’m inclined to agree with the students on this one with regards to access to reading materials. With any luck this will be resolved today.